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About this poet

Maureen N. McClane is the author of the poetry collections This Blue (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in poetry; World Enough (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010); and Same Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008); as well as the hybrid book of memoir and criticism My Poets (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012), which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography. She is a professor of English at New York University.

What I'm Looking For

Maureen N. McLane

What I'm looking for
is an unmarked door
we'll walk through
and there: whatever
we'd wished for
beyond the door.

What I'm looking for
is a golden bowl
carefully repaired
a complete world sealed
along cracked lines.

What I'm looking for
may not be there.
What you're looking for
may or may not
be me. I'm listening for

the return of that sound
I heard in the woods
just now, that silvery sound
that seemed to call
not only to me.

Copyright © 2012 by Maureen N. McLane. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2012 by Maureen N. McLane. Used with permission of the author.

Maureen N. McLane

Maureen N. McClane is the author of the poetry collections This Blue (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in poetry; World Enough (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010); and Same Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008); as well as the hybrid book of memoir and criticism My Poets (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012), which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography. She is a professor of English at New York University.

by this poet

poem

They were not kidding
when they said they were blinded
by a vision of love.

It was not just a manner
of speaking or feeling
though it’s hard to say

how the dead
really felt harder
even than knowing the living.

You are so opaque
to me your brief

poem
Again the white blanket 			
icicles pierce.
The fierce teeth
of steel-framed snowshoes
bite the trail open.
Where the hardwoods stand
and rarely bend
the wind blows hard
an explosion of snow
like flour dusting
the baker in a shop
long since shuttered.
In this our post-shame century
we will reclaim
the old nouns
poem
         If we belonged 
to the dead, if we had our own
Egyptian culture of care—
the amulets of home entombed
for solace everywhere—
would we then have found
a better way to cast beyond
the merely given earth?
         If you want to follow me
you'd better leave your plaid
suitcase and makeup kit
behind.  I